As part of efforts to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change and enhance data generation for policy development in Nigeria, the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (W ASCAL) Competence Centre, Ouagadougou , Burkina Faso, a German Government funded capacity building programme , has officially handed over Automatic Hydrological Sensors equipment to the Department of Meteorology and Climate Science, Federal University of Technology Akure, FUTA and Benin-Owena River Basin Development Authority (BORDA) through its affiliate FUTA WASCAL.
Making the donation at the Conference Room of FUTA WASCAL on Wednesday October 25, 2023, Head of Data Management, WASCAL Competence Centre, Ouagadougou, Dr. Belko Diallo said the donation is tripartite and is for the purpose of bridging data gap. He said data is necessary for investigation and improving livelihoods in the sub region.
The Head of Department of Meteorology and Climate Science, FUTA, Dr Ademola Akinbobola, said the equipment will enhance research in the area of hydrometeorology by generating real time data. “The data will reveal the condition of the river by knowing the water level, water temperature, salinity and electrical conductivity. River basin authority has existing sites where readings are taken, therefore it's going to expand their data sites and help in more robust water resources planning and management,” he said.
While speaking at the occasion the representative of Nigeria on the WASCAL Board, Professor Chinedu Nwajiuba said the hydrological data generated from the sensors will bridge the existing data gap in the country. He said, “WASCAL is interested in providing solutions to national problems that involve availability and collation of hydrological data and to facilitate access to research capacity building, services and revenue generation. We want to see the impact of WASCAL Service Centre beyond the university. Nigeria is a huge country but it has two centers but we are determined to be more visible across communities in the country”.
He appreciated the German ministry for Education and Research for their immense contributions and funding stating that the donation is part of concerted efforts to combat environmental challenges in the sub region. The Board Representative also commended FUTA management for the quality of education imparted to the students of the university. He announced an additional donation of fifty to seventy thousand euros by WASCAL to FUTA to contribute to renewable energy projects in FUTA.
Also speaking, the Executive Director, Planning and Design, BORDA, Mr. Osikela Omo-Ikirodah said one of the most defining issues in our present day is climate change.” It has gone beyond a geographical issue. It is global and has a pandemic effect. It is not restrictive thus, to combat climate change, data is critical. The only way we can rise to the challenges of climate change is to deploy accurate data,” he said. The Executive Director commended FUTA for its commitment to sustaining excellence in teaching, learning, research and community service. He said BORDA is elated with the prospects of a partnership with the university as this is part of its mandate to breaking boundaries to change the way government agencies are run. He lauded WASCAL for the donation and was optimistic that the donation will improve and enhance the quality of data collection and in the long-term bring results that will impact the environment positively.
On her part, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Adenike Oladiji represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Development, Professor Sunday Oluyamo, commended WASCAL for the donation stating that it will go a long way to aid data collection and maximize breakthroughs in combating environmental challenges and promised that the university will deploy the equipment judiciously for the benefit of mankind.